The way that I look at the world and also photography is probably considered a bit unconventional. But then again, I’m probably not the most conventional man either.
A bit over 30 years ago, I was born in a city called Wollongong, just about an hour south of Sydney, Australia. I returned there 7 years later after having lived 6 of those years in Sri Lanka, the land that my family came from. It’s a pretty amazing culture to be part of and even though it took about 20 years for it to happen, I’m really proud to have a connection with the little island nation. It’s actually taught me a lot I think – the main lessons that have stuck with me are to be happy with what you have and money isn’t the only thing that makes you happy. There’s so much more to life. So moving to Melbourne without having a job or much work seemed to make a lot of sense.
Taking photos is a new love for me, it’s not something I ever aspired to as a child or was interested in as a teenager – it just happened one day about 6 years ago. And when I say happened, I mean really obsessively happened. It was all I seemed to think about and the happiness I got out of it opened my eyes to the possibilities of the world. I had spent 10 years studying at university to become a Medical Physicist but after working for a few years, there was something missing. I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t excited and I definitely didn’t feel like it was what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life.
After a few years, with both the emotional and financial support of my amazingly lovely wife Kristen, I took a gamble and made the leap to full time photography. For the first time in my life, I followed my heart instead of my head. I remember that first beautiful day, March 17 2012 – my right brain finally had the chance to take on that left brain of mine – the part that had forever loved astronomy, dinosaurs, physics and maths. And you know what? It’s been an exhilarating adventure since, I can’t figure out why I didn’t do it earlier.
“So where’s the unconventional bit?” you might ask. Well that probably comes from the really strong social and political views I hold – something you’re supposed to keep separate to your business. But these things impact so much of my relationships with the world and its people so it naturally makes sense for it to define how I run my business too. At the crux of it, I believe in a just and equitable society where every person has the same opportunities as everyone else. But while we wait for that, I want us to appreciate how lucky we are and to use that privilege to make the world a better place, in our own way and to our own taste.
And this is my little way of making the world a better place – I make people happy. It’s not much in the giant scheme of things but I think it’s a good starting point.
But it ain’t just a one man business; this is Kristen. Not only is she the most wonderful and beautiful little lady in the world, she’s the real brains behind this operation. Plus, she helps with albums, email andamp; admin and acts as a 2nd shooter on occasion. And more importantly, she is the person that makes the cups of tea and delivers chocolate biscuits. Basically, she keeps the cogs turning and my heart fluttering.